So, confession time: I get embarrassingly excited about July being National Ice Cream Month — if you don’t try a new flavor combination every day, are you really celebrating? If you’re lactose intolerant, or just hate ice cream, it’s also Ernest Hemingway Month, according to Cuba Libre (801 9th St. NW), D.C.’s own Epcot-style Havana. (We’re guessing they chose July because he was born on July 21, not because he died July 2, though there’s a nice symmetry to that.)
Nowadays the daiquiri, much like the margarita, is unfairly associated with bachelorette parties and sorority bacchanals. Hemingway was too misogynistic to drink anything girly, so we must assume that the daiquiri — his libation of choice — was the manliest drink available in 1940s Cuba.
Cuba Libre thus commemorates Papa’s 112th birthday with a slate of 31 special daiquiris, one for each day of July. Tonight’s is kiwi, Tuesday’s is blackberry-cranberry and the rest of the month is filled with other fruity flavors, like blueberry, rhubarb and pineapple. On the 21st, the regular weekday Caippy Hour (4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) will guest-star $5 Papa Doble daiquiris (Hemingway’s signature drink), caipirinhas, caipiorskas (cachaca and vodka) and sakerinhas (cachaca and sake).
You can also grab the usual $4 small plates — we recommend the albondigas (otherwise known as meatballs) and the pineapple guacamole, because anything with plantain chips is worth your time.
Photo by Susan Biddle/For The Washington Post